Last updated on April 21, 2014 at 0:02 EDT

Latest Molecular cloud Stories

Image 1 - Neighboring Galaxy Could Hold Clues To Star Formation
2011-12-01 04:35:48

Led by University of Illinois astronomy professor Tony Wong, the researchers published their findings in the December issue of the Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series. The Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) is a popular galaxy among astronomers both for its nearness to our Milky Way and for the spectacular view it provides, a big-picture vista impossible to capture of our own galaxy. “If you imagine a galaxy being a disc, the LMC is tilted almost face-on so we can look down on it,...

2011-08-26 10:18:44

The Milky Way will have the fuel to continue forming stars, thanks to massive clouds of ionized gas raining down from its halo and intergalactic space. This is the conclusion of a new study by Nicolas Lehner and Christopher Howk, faculty in the Department of Physics at the University of Notre Dame. Their report, "A Reservoir of Ionized Gas in the Galactic Halo to Sustain Star Formation in the Milky Way," is published in Science August 26. Using the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph, one of the...

2011-01-11 10:33:46

By Robert Sanders, University of California, Berkeley An unusual galaxy with gas jets could explain how starforming galaxies become red and dead University of California, Berkeley, astronomers may have found the missing link between gas-filled, star-forming galaxies and older, gas-depleted galaxies typically characterized as "red and dead." In a poster to be presented this week at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Seattle, UC Berkeley astronomers report that a long-known...

2010-10-06 09:45:00

A new infrared image from ESO's VISTA survey telescope reveals an extraordinary landscape of glowing tendrils of gas, dark clouds and young stars within the constellation of Monoceros (the Unicorn). This star-forming region, known as Monoceros R2, is embedded within a huge dark cloud. The region is almost completely obscured by interstellar dust when viewed in visible light, but is spectacular in the infrared. An active stellar nursery lies hidden inside a massive dark cloud rich in molecules...

2010-07-07 13:45:00

A wave of massive star formation appears poised to begin within a mysterious, dark cloud in the Milky Way.  NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope  has revealed a secluded birthplace for stars within a wispy, dark cloud named M17 SWex. The dark cloud is part of the larger, parent nebula known as M17, a vast region of our galaxy with a bright, central star cluster. "We believe we've managed to observe this dark cloud in a very early phase of star formation before its most massive stars have...

2010-05-10 11:35:00

Astronomers this summer will take a close look at a rare cosmic cradle for the universe's largest stars, baby bruisers that grow up to have 50 times the sun's mass. The international team of astronomers headed by University of Florida scientist Peter Barnes used an Australian radio telescope to find the cloud of gas and dust 8,000 light years away in the Southern sky constellation Carina. The cloud is in the early stages of collapsing in on itself, offering astronomers an unusual vista on the...

2010-04-12 10:55:00

Herschel's latest image reveals the formation of previously unseen large stars, each one up to ten times the mass of our Sun. These are the stars that will influence where and how the next generation of stars are formed. The image is a new release of "ËœOSHI', ESA's Online Showcase of Herschel Images. The Rosette Nebula resides some 5,000 light years from Earth and is associated with a larger cloud that contains enough dust and gas to make the equivalent of 10,000 Sun-like...

2009-10-02 07:35:00

Herschel has delivered spectacular vistas of cold gas clouds lying near the plane of the Milky Way, revealing intense, unexpected activity. The dark, cool region is dotted with stellar factories, like pearls on a cosmic string. On 3 September, Herschel aimed its telescope at a reservoir of cold gas in the constellation of the Southern Cross near the Galactic Plane. As the telescope scanned the sky, the spacecraft's Spectral and Photometric Imaging REceiver, SPIRE, and Photoconductor Array...

2009-09-09 15:30:00

The simple picture of star formation calls for giant clouds of gas and dust to collapse inward due to gravity, growing denser and hotter until igniting nuclear fusion. In reality, forces other than gravity also influence the birth of stars. New research shows that cosmic magnetic fields play a more important role in star formation than previously thought. A molecular cloud is a cloud of gas that acts as a stellar nursery. When a molecular cloud collapses, only a small fraction of the cloud's...

2009-08-12 14:15:00

This composite image, combining data from the Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Spitzer Space Telescope shows the molecular cloud Cepheus B, located in our Galaxy about 2,400 light years from the Earth. A molecular cloud is a region containing cool interstellar gas and dust left over from the formation of the galaxy and mostly contains molecular hydrogen. The Spitzer data, in red, green and blue shows the molecular cloud (in the bottom part of the image) plus young stars in and around Cepheus...

Latest Molecular cloud Reference Libraries

2004-10-19 04:45:42

Star Formation -- Star formation is the process by which gas in molecular clouds gets transformed into stars. In the current paradigm of star formation, cores of molecular clouds (regions of specially high density) became gravitationally unstable, and start to concentrate. Part of the gravitational energy lost in the process is radiated in the infrared, another part increases the temperature of the core. The accretion of material happen partially though a circumstellar disc. When...

2004-10-19 04:45:41

Molecular Cloud -- Molecular clouds are interstellar nebulae that have a density and size sufficient to permit the formation of H2, molecular hydrogen. However, this molecule is difficult to detect, and the molecule most used to trace the H2 is CO (carbon monoxide). The ratio between CO luminosity and H2 mass is roughly constant, although there are reasons to doubt this assumption in observations of some other galaxies. In the Milky Way, molecular clouds account for roughly one-half...

2004-10-19 04:45:41

Interstellar Cloud -- Interstellar cloud is the generic name given to accumulations of gas and dust in our galaxy. Depending on the density, size and temperature of a given cloud, the hydrogen in it can be neutral (HI clouds) or molecular (molecular clouds). Chemical compositions Analysing the composition of interstellar clouds is achieved by studying electromagnetic radiation that we receive from them. Large radio telescopes scan the intensity in the sky of particular frequencies of...

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